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Council's Role


There are three tiers of local government serving Hawstead comprising Suffolk County Council, West Suffolk Council and Hawstead Parish Council.

Details are provided below of the main roles and responsibilities of each tier.



The Parish Council is dedicated to serving its local community and is committed to working closely with the residents and local organisations to deliver a gret package of local support which helps make Hawstead a great place to live, work and visit.  The Parish Council offers a range of services itself and works closely with other Hawstead organisations which offer other services.

A broad summary of the services provided directly by the Parish Council includes:


Managing the Greens 

Hawstead Parish Council is the owner of a number of open spaces in the locality which have been formally registered as village greens. These  areas include the Main Green, Brook Green, Pound Green and Bull Lane Green. The Main Green qualifies for grant funding (basic farm payment and countryside stewardship grant) from Defra on condition that it is managed in accordance with certain conditions.  Notably there is an obligation to use the main green to provide an annual hay crop. All the greens are managed by the Parish Council  so that they are cut in accordance with a mowing specification which is reviewed annually. In addition to the hay crop, the main Green is managed so as to provide walkways and areas for sports which are mowed regularly through the season; mole control is regularly undertaken during the winter; the trees on the Greens are monitored and managed by the Council which benefits from the expertise of James Carr, the current tree warden who lives in Hawstead. Brook Green is laid out as a woodland path and picnic spot.


Responding to Planning consultations

Hawstead Parish Council is one of the statutory bodies that West Suffolk Council must consult on planning matters within the parish and immediate environs. 

Planning has changed rapidly over the last decade. There is now a positive presumption in favour of development, brought forward by central government and now incorporated into planning law and adopted by local planning authorities.

West Suffolk Council sets the long-term planning and land-use policies within the District. Their plans may be viewed on their website where there is a wealth of planning advice on other pages.

The consideration of planning applications in Hawstead takes place in public either at the scheduled bi monthly Parish Council meeting or occasionally at a specially convened extraordinary Parish Council meeting. Individual councillors should not be approached with regard to specific applications outside these meetings.  The final decision on any planning application is taken by the local planning Authority West Suffolk Council.

Immediate neighbours to a planning application will usually receive notice direct from WSC. A notice will be displayed nearby. All applications are available to view on West Suffolk Council planning website. Some applications have to be more widely advertised in the regional press. Each listing on the West Suffolk site holds the details of each application, plus comments & objections (both from individuals and statutory bodies such as Suffolk Highways or the Environment Agency).

Community Orchard

The Parish Council owns and maintains the beautiful Millennium Field, adjacent to the Church. This is a lovely secluded place for a picnic; it is home to a recently planted community orchard boasting a wide range of native fruit trees.

Community Speedwatch

 A team of volunteers coordinated by the Parish Council runs a community speedwatch team in the village. This initiative aims to promote adherence to the speed limit by motorists travelling through the village. The Council also liaises with SCC to provide a rotating TVAS/ANPR devices, again aiming to reduce seeding vehicles travelling through the village.

Grant support

The Council may be approached for grant funding for qualifying local projects which benefit more than one local resident. Grant application forms can be obtained from the Clerk

Street furniture

The Council maintains a range of items for the benefit of the local community, including grit bins, noticeboards, benches, two defibrillators (at Pinford End  phone kiosk and the Village Hall).

Footpaths and highways

The Council monitors the condition of the footpaths in the village, undertakes some maintenance of these paths itself during the summer months (courtesy of a team of volunteers, for which thanks) and liaises with SCC who, as highway authority, is ultimately responsible for maintenance of footpaths and the condition of the roads.


The Council maintains an emergency plan to ensure safety of residents in the event of a local emergency; it also coordinates communications with residents by means of various email distribution groups, WhatsApp groups. For further information please contact the Clerk

The Parish Council works closely with Hawstead Community Council which manages the village hall (and adjoining area play area) and also the local group of volunteers 'The Jammy Dodgers' who undertake a range of maintenance work in the village.


West Suffolk Council covers a smaller area than Suffolk County Council and has responsibility for delivering services such as:


Suffolk County Council is responsible for county-wide services including: